5-13 Weapon in the Rift GM Discussion *Spoilers*


GM Discussion

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Grand Lodge 4/5

Single ammunition is more analogous to partially charged wands, which are limited.

Lantern Lodge

John Compton wrote:
In response:
The traps have the same trigger area: the 10x10-foot area in the very middle of the hallway, where it bows out to the north.

Confusion:
So both traps in each subtier trigger at the same time from the same 10x10-foot area?
Grand Lodge

As to one of the secondary effects of the weapon...

"The effect also destroys non-artifact magic items with evil auras within 100 feet, though such an item protected by one of the leather suits receives a saving throw to resist destruction."

Has anyone come across a player that has had an item with an evil aura where this has come into question? I'm specifically concerned about players that might have

one of these items:
ocher rhomboid ioun stone from scenario 4-12 (not sure how they could be using that "inside" of the suit).

sihedron brand from 4-08 (not sure if this actually counts as an item or not)

Silver Crusade

I can't speak to the latter item as I have not played that scenario, but the former most certainly gets affected. Two of my friends played Weapon in the Rift recently with characters that had it. Both had suits on, but only one made the save and the item instantly popped.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sihedron brand is definitely affected by the weapon, whether it be the one from Cultist's Kiss or Words of the Ancients. Tattoos are still items. The soul cookie from feast of Sigils wouldn't get destroyed since it is consumed in its use.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the opinions. That helps.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I played this yesterday, and had a great time. We finished just in time. The Neutral bard turned the switch, then dropped prone and covered his head - he hadn't had time to put on a suit yet. It was the other paladin's dog mount that pressed the button (turns out the Perform trick is pretty good after all) to nuke the place.

Our GM (Maglok) hadn't yet read himself what the blast would do, so we were all pretty curious what would happen to the bard. Crunching the numbers, it looks like anyone playing at the normal tiers should survive.

I was pretty surprised that paladin mounts are neutral, that's funky.

We had no particular problem with the puzzle; after we made the checks to get all the verses we spent a bit puzzling. The weird thing was placing the blanks; the GM just told us to left-align the text, admitting that there was no way you could deduce yourself whether you should right- or left-align them. (Reading the above, it looks like it doesn't even matter.) I'd read a comment on WotR that featured the Acts and suggested Iomedae-worshiping players ought to know about them, so when I brought up that the puzzle might be about that I had a warm fuzzy moment of feeling clever :)

I really can't find any real problems with the scenario. Since we used the corrected puzzle. As a nitpick I suppose the time to put on the suits is a bit short, which in our case had the neutral characters pretty nervous. That's cool. But then the blast turns out to be written so that it can't actually kill or damage normally-leveled neutral characters, and it turns out the panic about having no time to put on the suits was unnecessary. That's a bit of a let-down I think.

If the blast were to potentially cause a minor but permanent (until cured) condition that the suits could prevent, that would've been nicer. Or a bit of damage to singe neutral characters; not enough to kill a healthy one but enough to scare one that's taken a few blows.

5/5

Ascalaphus wrote:
If the blast were to potentially cause a minor but permanent (until cured) condition that the suits could prevent, that would've been nicer. Or a bit of damage to singe neutral characters; not enough to kill a healthy one but enough to scare one that's taken a few blows.

I believe that the blast can outright kill neutral Clerics of Evil deities as they have an evil aura and are therefore not subject to the reduced caster level effect. With a CL of 20 any Cleric of an evil deity not wearing the suit will die if they fail the save. If they don the suit hastily level 8-9 characters will only suffer temporary effects. With a suit put on normally any character of level 5+ will have no chance of death.

That seems like a pretty harsh effect and the evil item removal seems like a deliberate attempt to remove stuff which was made available in season 4.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Oh, I wasn't aware of that. Interesting to know.

Scarab Sages Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Maglok

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Yeah it was a pleasure to run it for you guys. They played up with 4 player adjustment and I have to say that really made all the difference. This scenario has a 4 player adjustment for all the encounters, which was really cool indeed.

I did get a bit confused with the prisms and the locking in of Ghelcor, but it didn't matter much.

I had not read the effect of the blast because I didn't want myself to secretly pull any punches.

But yeah the way my players got on the platform with the console in the last room was... original. A large raging bloodrager threw someone up there, another climbed the reach weapon of said bloodrager, while a paladin on a dog mount ran all the way around. It was quite epic.

They insert the prisms, turn the keys and then the paladin with the dog yells to his dog "Goodboy (name of the dog), sit up! Nowwwww PAW!" And presses the button. :) One more turn and the factionleader would have bitten the dust.

Good stuff.


In A3 with the corrupted Hound Archon's, I'm confused why they cannot use the teleportation circle if the PC's remove the prisms?

Their summoning contract was only for 1 year which has long passed, so they should no longer be bound to the tower. Yet the scenario says,

"The hound archons (see below) are unable to use the circle, bound as
they are to this area."

And yet, the solution given is for the PC's to use a wayfinder to disrupt the Defense Field, allowing them to teleport out. So clearly they are not bound!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Teleportation magic is blocked to prevent outsiders from breaching the defenses. The archons have to walk outside before they can teleport.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Teleportation magic is blocked to prevent outsiders from breaching the defenses. The archons have to walk outside before they can teleport.

Ok, but presumably the Archons haven't walked outside because they are bound. Yet the scenario says their service has long ended, so they shouldn't be bound anymore...

Doesn't make sense to me.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

The doors prevent them from walking out.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
silverace99 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Teleportation magic is blocked to prevent outsiders from breaching the defenses. The archons have to walk outside before they can teleport.

Ok, but presumably the Archons haven't walked outside because they are bound. Yet the scenario says their service has long ended, so they shouldn't be bound anymore...

Doesn't make sense to me.

They haven't walked outside because the aura of the building stops teleportation and they can't get through the locked doors. The "bound" in that sentence references to how they are stuck, not that they are still in their year of service.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

It may also have to do with the fact that the security system went into lockdown. As part of the security system, they are stuck in the lockdown, just like Gelchor was. It probably had some sort of caveat that locked them in as long as the system is in lockdown so that if there is an attack just as their end of the year is up, the defenses don't come crashing down because the power source went away.

Then he tried to reset the defenses during a lock down and the whole system crashed and malfunctioned and couldn't come out of lockdown. So while their contract is up, they are still stuck in the malfunctioning binding that draws on their power to fuel his defenses. They are literally powering the magic that keeps them trapped here.

The PC's pathfinders resonance disrupt the defense system, including the teleport ban, and the magic that binds the outsiders power to fuel the defenses, freeing them to leave.

At least thats how I ran it.


James McTeague wrote:
silverace99 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Teleportation magic is blocked to prevent outsiders from breaching the defenses. The archons have to walk outside before they can teleport.

Ok, but presumably the Archons haven't walked outside because they are bound. Yet the scenario says their service has long ended, so they shouldn't be bound anymore...

Doesn't make sense to me.

They haven't walked outside because the aura of the building stops teleportation and they can't get through the locked doors. The "bound" in that sentence references to how they are stuck, not that they are still in their year of service.

The doors have only 10 hardneess and 60hp, they should have been able to knock them down by now. Even the PC's can destroy the doors according to the scenario......

Personally I think this whole part was poorly written. If my players question why the Archon's couldn't leave, I'm just going to tell them a plot forcefield kept them in haha.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Drop the "plot" part and that's exactly what kept them inside.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Smashing their way out would also have left a hole in the defenses for demon cults to invade through. The archons are lawful enough that I don't see them doing that just for their own personal comfort.

Maybe it is just my love for the scenario, but I don't find any of that part a problem.

Edit:

Quote:
They cling to their assigned duty to defend the tower

Just found that bit. Sometimes the chains keeping you imprisoned aren't physical.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Drop the "plot" part and that's exactly what kept them inside.

The forcefield only prevents teleportation; it doesn't prevent them from walking out, and they can easily destroy the puzzle door.

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Smashing their way out would also have left a hole in the defenses for demon cults to invade through. The archons are lawful enough that I don't see them doing that just for their own personal comfort.

Maybe it is just my love for the scenario, but I don't find any of that part a problem.

Edit:

Quote:
They cling to their assigned duty to defend the tower
Just found that bit. Sometimes the chains keeping you imprisoned aren't physical.

I would buy that, except that the scenario specifically states that they are now Chaotic Neutral (not lawful) and they are eager to find any way to escape. Basically I'm seeing a lot of contradictory things in the scenario text :P

If my players start poking holes in this story (and oh boy they will), I need an explanation that makes sense! Else I throw the plot train at them haha.

Grand Lodge 4/5

silverace99 wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Drop the "plot" part and that's exactly what kept them inside.
The forcefield only prevents teleportation; it doesn't prevent them from walking out, and they can easily destroy the puzzle door.

"I can destroy this door" and "I want to destroy this door" are completely separate things. Not to mention "I don't think I can destroy this door" is a very powerful motivator for not even trying.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

silverace99 wrote:
I would buy that, except that the scenario specifically states that they are now Chaotic Neutral (not lawful) and they are eager to find any way to escape. Basically I'm seeing a lot of contradictory things in the scenario text :P

True enough. Like most scenarios! :D

Still, even Chaotic characters have things they value, and for archons, even Chaotic ones, clinging to the promise they made to keep themselves sane is a big one.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Having ran this, I like the senario, but discovered something about players:

Sundering = a lot of GM hate! :(

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Secane wrote:

Having ran this, I like the senario, but discovered something about players:

Sundering = a lot of GM hate! :(

Did you point out to them (after the scenario) that they can just get make whole cast to fix whatever broke?

Lantern Lodge 3/5

FLite wrote:
Secane wrote:

Having ran this, I like the senario, but discovered something about players:

Sundering = a lot of GM hate! :(

Did you point out to them (after the scenario) that they can just get make whole cast to fix whatever broke?

I did. I made a point to read up Sunder before the game and what it takes to repair a destroyed weapon/armor/etc.

Not all of my players know that. So some were quite upset, thinking their weapon was permanently gone if it got below 0 hp and destroyed.
I had to explain, but maybe I should have done that before the game. May had helped.

Luckily, none got evil items that could have been wiped out by the ending effect. Or it will be another set of upset.


Got a question about the final battle initiative count.

Quote:

On initiative count 15 when the PCs enter the area,

the shemhazian demolishes approximately 15 feet of the
northeast wall as well as a 5-foot section of the stairs as
it tears into the tower. On initiative count 10, Ollysta
arrives with two crusaders, and the trio tries to hold off
the shemhazian while the PCs combat the abrikandilu
demons and activate the weapon.

Does this mean that the Shemhazian arrives at turn 15, and then 10 turns later Ollysta arrives?

Or does it mean that Ollysta arrives at turn 10, and 5 turns later the Shemhazian arrives?

5/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Edmonton aka Artoo

silverace99 wrote:

Got a question about the final battle initiative count.

Quote:

On initiative count 15 when the PCs enter the area,

the shemhazian demolishes approximately 15 feet of the
northeast wall as well as a 5-foot section of the stairs as
it tears into the tower. On initiative count 10, Ollysta
arrives with two crusaders, and the trio tries to hold off
the shemhazian while the PCs combat the abrikandilu
demons and activate the weapon.

Does this mean that the Shemhazian arrives at turn 15, and then 10 turns later Ollysta arrives?

Or does it mean that Ollysta arrives at turn 10, and 5 turns later the Shemhazian arrives?

It means on the first round they act as if they had rolled a 15 and 10 on initiative, respectively.

The Exchange 5/5

silverace99 wrote:

Got a question about the final battle initiative count.

Quote:

On initiative count 15 when the PCs enter the area,

the shemhazian demolishes approximately 15 feet of the
northeast wall as well as a 5-foot section of the stairs as
it tears into the tower. On initiative count 10, Ollysta
arrives with two crusaders, and the trio tries to hold off
the shemhazian while the PCs combat the abrikandilu
demons and activate the weapon.

Does this mean that the Shemhazian arrives at turn 15, and then 10 turns later Ollysta arrives?

Or does it mean that Ollysta arrives at turn 10, and 5 turns later the Shemhazian arrives?

this is a guess on my part... as I have not run this one, just played it.

But - during the first round of the encounter, as the players (and NPCs) are in Initiative, and are "counting down" thru their turns...

Anything with an Initiative above 15 would go (in turn, say Init 21, Init 19, etc)...

as you reach Init 15 the Shemhazian brakes thru the wall,

then anyone with Inititives 14, 13, 12, & 11 would go (in order)

then Ollysta arrives with two crusaders, ...

then each round at Init 15 and Init 10 the respective NPCs would act...


thanks for clearing that up guys :)

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Yeah, if you got 15 turns before that thing bursts in, the scenario would be a LOT easier :P

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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I wish November would get here... I'm waiting to run this (and then will run it repeatedly) once the Lost Coast minis arrive, so I can have the "right item" for the climax of the scenario :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Indiana—Decatur aka Kadasbrass Loreweaver

I ran this scenario this past week. My players upon finding the empty arrow trap decided to try and "reload" it in case demons got in the tower...

Silver Crusade

Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
I ran this scenario this past week. My players upon finding the empty arrow trap decided to try and "reload" it in case demons got in the tower...

Oh no!

My group this weekend did everything right. They found all of the traps. They released the archons. They even donned the radiation suits. They also had a channeling cleric along.

Ollysta still died.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

We were one round away from Ollysta dying. It's hard, if you can't take a shortcut to that console.

Then again, by that level I think it's reasonable to expect players to have something up their sleeve for such situations.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Do remember that if the players help Ollysta in any way it counts to keeping her alive longer.

One of my players threw a haste spell on her and the crusaders. The rest gets buffed by another haste and full speed up the stairs after bull rushing the demon off the stairs... (it was ironic...)

Silver Crusade

Ollysta totally died in our game. But we didn't know you could actually hurt the BBEG. We thought it was a plot monster from a video game.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Yeah, one of the reasons Ollysta lived in our game was that she got included in some Channels. That made the difference.

I think we did think of it as kinda like a video plot monster; I assumed that it was potentially hittable, but way too powerful to be a sound tactical choice to do so. When I read here that some groups have killed it I was surprised and maybe a little envious.

Silver Crusade

The cleric in the game I ran threw a cure serious wounds on her and got her in a channel. He also agreed to soak 3 of the hits she took in the 5th or 6th round (whichever one it is that kills her), but it just took them too long to take out the abrikandelu and get to the console.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

This was where playing a "suicidal" tiefling Paladin came in handy... once my PC knew that the party was starting to work on the mechanism and there wasn't any more room up there, he ran in beside her and used abilities / Paladin's Sacrifice to keep her from taking damage every single turn (and actually managed to land a crit right before the rest of the party finished).

That final fight and the way it goes down is a big reason 5-13 is one of my favorites from season 5 (and why I can't wait until Nov 11th!)

Sovereign Court

I played this last week and still have no idea how the puzzle works. We got several hand outs from a The Acts of Iomede or whatever and were told there were 4 dials with numbers 0-9 on them. None of it made any sense, so our resident Barbarian just bashed the doors down because we all wanted to actually play the scenario.

Silver Crusade

Uhh it should have been virtually impossible to bash the doors down.

And Mike, my suicidal tiefling paladin (level 7 at the time) charged the demon as well. I had no idea it was CR 15, but I doubt it would have mattered much.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Uhh it should have been virtually impossible to bash the doors down.

Not really? I don't have a copy of the scenario in front of me, but I don't remember the inside door being particularly strong.

Not to mention that it kinda opens itself if you fail the puzzle enough.

RoshVagari wrote:
I played this last week and still have no idea how the puzzle works. We got several hand outs from a The Acts of Iomede or whatever and were told there were 4 dials with numbers 0-9 on them. None of it made any sense, so our resident Barbarian just bashed the doors down because we all wanted to actually play the scenario.

It's just a combination lock, is all. It's much harder if you have the incorrect version, of course, and I don't know if the PDF was ever actually updated to have the correct version it it.

Silver Crusade

I'm going off memory, but I'm pretty sure the puzzle door has hardness 30 and a lot of hit points.

Also, the group I ran it for didn't have an Int based character or anybody with either knowledge check, so they only got 2 of the sets of Acts. After getting it wrong the first time, they figured out it would only go off two more times, so they chose someone to soak the damage and then fiddled until they got it open.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
I'm going off memory, but I'm pretty sure the puzzle door has hardness 30 and a lot of hit points.

Actually, it's nowhere near that strong:

Page 9 wrote:
Opening the door without solving the puzzle is difficult (hardness 10, hp 60, Strength DC 30).

Grand Lodge 4/5

Yeah, that's more of what I was remembering. A strength based character who wants through that door won't be stopped for long, especially if they have an adamantine weapon (which isn't exactly uncommon at that level).

Silver Crusade

Well, guess I was remembering something else from the 3 scenarios I ran last weekend. All of last weekend is a complete blur between running a pair of 5-9s, the first scenarios I've run that weren't 1-5s, and playing in Bonekeep and a pair of specials.

Or I could have been confusing the strength DC with the hardness.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

Mike Bramnik wrote:
I wish November would get here... I'm waiting to run this (and then will run it repeatedly) once the Lost Coast minis arrive, so I can have the "right item" for the climax of the scenario :)

I was thinking about that but I'll go with a low tech version :)

Mike

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Sadly, I don't expect to run this again in person for a long while, so my poor mini will sit unused.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

I'm running this on Friday night and had two questions

Spoiler:
are the acts of Iomedae listed in another source for reference?

Anyone run this with no PP for the players?

What;s the consensus on giving the PCs hints with knowledge checks for the puzzle?

@Doug - how did your players beat the BBG?

Mike

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

andreww wrote:

I believe that the blast can outright kill neutral Clerics of Evil deities as they have an evil aura and are therefore not subject to the reduced caster level effect. With a CL of 20 any Cleric of an evil deity not wearing the suit will die if they fail the save. If they don the suit hastily level 8-9 characters will only suffer temporary effects. With a suit put on normally any character of level 5+ will have no chance of death.

That seems like a pretty harsh effect and the evil item removal seems like a deliberate attempt to remove stuff which was made available in season 4.

I think it was mentioned that the holy word wasn't as strong.

Mike

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